Syrian President Bashar Assad warned that if a military strike against him does occur, the U.S. and its allies should “expect every action” in response.
In his first television interview since President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve military action against Syria, Assad told Charlie Rose of “CBS This Morning” on Sunday, “You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government.”
He warned that Syria is “not the only player in this region.”
Iran and the Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah are Syrian allies.
“You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology. You have everything in this region now,” he said.
Rose asked if retaliation included the use of chemical weapons.
Assad said that depends on if “the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have it. It could happen, I don't know. I am not fortune teller.”
He denied that the chemical attack on Syrians near Damascus on Aug. 21 was his doing and said Obama has not presented any evidence to Congress that the regime is responsible.
“There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people,” he said.
While expressing remorse for the hundreds of lives lost, he would neither confirm nor deny whether his government possesses chemical weapons. He said he is against chemical weapon use, just like the use of any weapon of mass destruction.
“We are against any WMD, any weapons of mass destruction, whether chemical or nuclear,” he insisted.
When asked why Syria has not signed the international charter against chemical weapons, he responded, “Not yet. Because Israel has yet to sign.”
Assad also claimed that his own soldiers were chemically attacked, but that there is a lack of evidence that it occurred because of social media.
“Our soldiers in another area were attacked chemically — our soldiers,” he said. “They went to the hospital, as casualties because of chemical weapons. But in the area where they said the government used chemical weapons, we only had video and we only have pictures and allegations. We’re not there. Our forces — our police, our institutions don’t exist. How can you talk about what happened if you don't have evidences? We’re not like the American administration. We’re not social media administration or government. We are the government that deals with reality.”